The African, Caribbean, Pacific – European Union (ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly has overturned an earlier decision and voted to allow Uganda to proceed with developing the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project.
The 1,443-kilometer (897-mile) long pipeline will run from oil wells in Uganda’s Western Region to Tanzania’s seaport of Tanga.
The EU originally said that the project should not take place because it would violate the rights of people in the areas of Uganda and Tanzania where the pipeline would be constructed and would also degrade the environment.
However, the ACP-EU assembly, sitting in Maputo, Mozambique, voted on Wednesday in favor of Uganda proceeding with developing the pipeline.
The assembly brings together an equal number of elected members of parliament from African, Caribbean and Pacific states and members of the European Parliament.
This came after the Ugandan delegation to the Maputo meeting led by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa convinced the assembly that the pipeline’s construction would not violate human rights or affect the environment.
“The delegation asked the assembly to allow for a just transition to renewable energy, as opposed to the abrupt halting of exploration, especially by the global south,” the Ugandan parliament said Thursday in a statement.
It said the ACP-EU resolution waters down an earlier stance by the European Parliament that had expressed grave concern over alleged human rights violations in Uganda and Tanzania linked to the project.
Uganda has 6.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, around 2.2 billion of which are recoverable.
Uganda, with Total E&P Uganda and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), which explored for oil, came up with the idea of constructing a 1,443-kilometer heated and buried crude oil pipeline to Tanzania’s coastal port of Tanga, which the ACP-EU was opposing.
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